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Mistakes of the Past


Mistakes of the Past

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AB2014
AB2014
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AB2014 - 3 May 18 1:09 PM
Diogenese - 1 May 18 10:27 PM
Certain types of organisations such as universities do ask about unspent convictions because they have a duty of care to the students. However, what seems to happen is that the information is assessed by the HR department and not shared with the actual recruiter. This means that any questions will have been asked and answered prior to an interview.

This arrangement has huge benefits to those with a criminal record to disclose as they can attend an interview free from the worry of any disclosure at that point and should they be offered the post, their criminal record will not be a matter for public consumption but remains firmly with the HR department.

I would imagine there are some exceptions to this, depending on the nature of the conviction but this certainly opens up opportunities.

I think the best practice for universities and colleges is to look at relevant unspent convictions, rather than all unspent convictions, so many should be ignored as a matter of procedure. If the course involves a work placement with vulnerable people, then it's a matter of filtering anyway.

On the subject of universities, Unlock's campaigning has helped lead to UCAS changing their application process relating to criminal records. Another barrier out of the way.
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Thorswrath - 29 Apr 18 1:10 PM
I was lucky to avoid prison, but i know people who have been inside, one person i know said it was the most miserable and depressing time of his life, he went to a cat B and another person i know went to a cat C open prison where he said it wasn't great but it was a bit more comfortable than he expected, i imagine mainly down to the fact he made good friends with his room mate and i reckon that's half the battle, trying to fit in or not stand out. 

I think the public are referring to cat C open prisons when they say 'everyone gets playstations and TV's ' but even there you don't get any of that stuff as far as i know my pal only had a radio and some of his personal music collection.

There is not enough media attention given to successful rehabilitation so the public is ill informed about what is actually possible. I've seen people who were really in a bad way with drugs manage to turn their lives around (myself included) but do you hear about their struggles and successes in the news ? not unless it's a celebrity. I've sat infront of employers before and tried to talk to them about how i've dealt with my own behaviour by getting help but in most cases all they hear is 'criminal' blah blah blah 'offender' blah blah blah 'excuses' blah blah blah.

I agree with the OP, that rehabilitation in a practical sense is not yet really understood other than by very well educated and practiced professionals. There is no national recognised standard of rehabilitation except person A has not committed X offence for X number of years.

I think people need to understand that someone of previous good character can end up making bad mistakes in life, but equally can use the experience to learn and adapt into a better person, there are people who have had a bad deal in life in terms of their social circles and family life, lack of opportunites other than a criminal route who seemingly start out bad from the offset who somehow still manage to find a way out and leave that life behind them. It should be celebrated more often and thus it would be better able to be encouraged.


Hi, I just want to clarify that Cat D is an open prison, Cat C is not open. 
AB2014
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Diogenese - 1 May 18 10:27 PM
Certain types of organisations such as universities do ask about unspent convictions because they have a duty of care to the students. However, what seems to happen is that the information is assessed by the HR department and not shared with the actual recruiter. This means that any questions will have been asked and answered prior to an interview.

This arrangement has huge benefits to those with a criminal record to disclose as they can attend an interview free from the worry of any disclosure at that point and should they be offered the post, their criminal record will not be a matter for public consumption but remains firmly with the HR department.

I would imagine there are some exceptions to this, depending on the nature of the conviction but this certainly opens up opportunities.

I think the best practice for universities and colleges is to look at relevant unspent convictions, rather than all unspent convictions, so many should be ignored as a matter of procedure. If the course involves a work placement with vulnerable people, then it's a matter of filtering anyway.
Derek Arnold
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Certain types of organisations such as universities do ask about unspent convictions because they have a duty of care to the students. However, what seems to happen is that the information is assessed by the HR department and not shared with the actual recruiter. This means that any questions will have been asked and answered prior to an interview.

This arrangement has huge benefits to those with a criminal record to disclose as they can attend an interview free from the worry of any disclosure at that point and should they be offered the post, their criminal record will not be a matter for public consumption but remains firmly with the HR department.

I would imagine there are some exceptions to this, depending on the nature of the conviction but this certainly opens up opportunities.
AB2014
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Thorswrath - 30 Apr 18 8:12 PM
Airlane - 30 Apr 18 12:26 PM
Does anyone out there have positive experiences with employers who state they will take ex-offenders? I've tried the prominent firms such as Virgin and Timpson but they rule out anyone with the letters SO after his name.


Well i'm only in employment because i go for jobs where they don't ask about previous or unspent convictions. I am not surprised that Timpson or Virgin don't take on SO's, i guess it may depend also on the type and severity of the crime which afforded the individual that label. However in my experience of trying to 'do the right thing' by going down the traditional route of employment and telling employers about my conviction, it amounts to nothing but set backs and rejections and it gets to the point where you have to start thinking about your own safety since you are someone who not only is divulging these details but providing them with your home address, e-mail address, phone number and you don't know who you are giving this information out to.

I wouldn't bother with recruitment agencies either, been there, tried it and failed. They will always tell you that having an unspent conviction won't be a barrier but it is. You can't really get any worse employability status in the job market than being an RSO.

If you have only just started looking for work then its going to be a long and arduous task...but not impossible. You need to find a way to get infront of the actual decision makers, not HR departments of big firms. If you find work where they don't ask about unspent convictions then you have to learn quickly how to be the 'grey man' and not get too close to people but close enough so you are socialble and polite at work. My rule these days is to never socialise outside of work with anyone i work with because there is too much at stake.

It all comes down to perseverence, how much rejection can you handle and still keep going? I even got a days work once with an agency in a parcel sorting depot slap bang in the middle of an industrial estate and the following day i stupidly told the recruiter i had an unspent conviction and what it was for, i was then told not to come in and further to that, was not paid for the work i done. When i asked him about it he said, 'i don't give a f##k, take me to court' this was from a big recruitment firm which i wont divulge the details on here. 

You will learn eventually what works and what doesn't.



There are plenty of employers who just don't ask. Whether that's because they can't be bothered, or they don't want the expense or they'd rather make their own assessment, it all comes down to not having to disclose. It probably applies to smaller, local companies that are on only one site. Once they have a head office with a corporate HR department, those diligent HR minions start devising checklists to justify their own jobs, and then reject anything they see as 'non-standard'. Most recruitment agencies have the same approach. 
Thorswrath
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Airlane - 30 Apr 18 12:26 PM
Does anyone out there have positive experiences with employers who state they will take ex-offenders? I've tried the prominent firms such as Virgin and Timpson but they rule out anyone with the letters SO after his name.


Well i'm only in employment because i go for jobs where they don't ask about previous or unspent convictions. I am not surprised that Timpson or Virgin don't take on SO's, i guess it may depend also on the type and severity of the crime which afforded the individual that label. However in my experience of trying to 'do the right thing' by going down the traditional route of employment and telling employers about my conviction, it amounts to nothing but set backs and rejections and it gets to the point where you have to start thinking about your own safety since you are someone who not only is divulging these details but providing them with your home address, e-mail address, phone number and you don't know who you are giving this information out to.

I wouldn't bother with recruitment agencies either, been there, tried it and failed. They will always tell you that having an unspent conviction won't be a barrier but it is. You can't really get any worse employability status in the job market than being an RSO.

If you have only just started looking for work then its going to be a long and arduous task...but not impossible. You need to find a way to get infront of the actual decision makers, not HR departments of big firms. If you find work where they don't ask about unspent convictions then you have to learn quickly how to be the 'grey man' and not get too close to people but close enough so you are socialble and polite at work. My rule these days is to never socialise outside of work with anyone i work with because there is too much at stake.

It all comes down to perseverence, how much rejection can you handle and still keep going? I even got a days work once with an agency in a parcel sorting depot slap bang in the middle of an industrial estate and the following day i stupidly told the recruiter i had an unspent conviction and what it was for, i was then told not to come in and further to that, was not paid for the work i done. When i asked him about it he said, 'i don't give a f##k, take me to court' this was from a big recruitment firm which i wont divulge the details on here. 

You will learn eventually what works and what doesn't.



Airlane
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Does anyone out there have positive experiences with employers who state they will take ex-offenders? I've tried the prominent firms such as Virgin and Timpson but they rule out anyone with the letters SO after his name.


Derek Arnold
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I try to recall my understanding of the prison system in the days before I was caught up in its net. I knew nothing of different categories and certainly knew nothing of the inner workings of prisons, the regime, the expectations on residents nor the progression routes.

Given the environment, the lack of funding, the attitudes, the expectations of 100% perfection in every encounter and engagement, the need to put aside common sense, ignore discrimination, fight determinedly to access the very targets deemed necessary for progression it is a wonder that any resident is able to progress.

Impossible targets on a sentence plan, long waiting lists or unavailability of 'behavioural' courses, the fear of retribution and penalties for any failure makes for an extremely stressful situation for many people. Meeting those targets, passing those courses and avoiding penalties makes individual accomplishments all the more impressive. Like salmon swimming against the current, such successes should be applauded.
Thorswrath
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I was lucky to avoid prison, but i know people who have been inside, one person i know said it was the most miserable and depressing time of his life, he went to a cat B and another person i know went to a cat C open prison where he said it wasn't great but it was a bit more comfortable than he expected, i imagine mainly down to the fact he made good friends with his room mate and i reckon that's half the battle, trying to fit in or not stand out. 

I think the public are referring to cat C open prisons when they say 'everyone gets playstations and TV's ' but even there you don't get any of that stuff as far as i know my pal only had a radio and some of his personal music collection.

There is not enough media attention given to successful rehabilitation so the public is ill informed about what is actually possible. I've seen people who were really in a bad way with drugs manage to turn their lives around (myself included) but do you hear about their struggles and successes in the news ? not unless it's a celebrity. I've sat infront of employers before and tried to talk to them about how i've dealt with my own behaviour by getting help but in most cases all they hear is 'criminal' blah blah blah 'offender' blah blah blah 'excuses' blah blah blah.

I agree with the OP, that rehabilitation in a practical sense is not yet really understood other than by very well educated and practiced professionals. There is no national recognised standard of rehabilitation except person A has not committed X offence for X number of years.

I think people need to understand that someone of previous good character can end up making bad mistakes in life, but equally can use the experience to learn and adapt into a better person, there are people who have had a bad deal in life in terms of their social circles and family life, lack of opportunites other than a criminal route who seemingly start out bad from the offset who somehow still manage to find a way out and leave that life behind them. It should be celebrated more often and thus it would be better able to be encouraged.


AB2014
AB2014
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Outsourced - 24 Apr 18 3:19 PM
Money is the key. No government funding or contracts issued to companies that require disclosure for non exemption posts. Higher rates and less tax breaks to cover the costs of tax loss from workers on benefits. 

Business owners would be changing overnight to save cash and then how small the job centre que would be....... 

The cynic in me says some businesses would be queueing up to sign ex-offenders for the financial benefits, then dumping them and employing the next tax-break, sorry, ex-offender. They would still be picky about just which tax-break, sorry, ex-offender they employ. Other businesses would carry on as before.
GO


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